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Open Access School Personnel's Responses to School-based Vaping Prevention Program: A Qualitative Study

This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND licence.

Objective: In this qualitative study, we sought to assess 3 topics of interest: (1) current status of vaping and school-based prevention; (2) school personnel's perceptions of vaping; and (3) challenges in implementing school-based vaping prevention programs. Methods: We conducted 5 focus groups using a semi-structured interview guide during October through December 2019. School personnel (eg, principals, teachers [N = 32]) from 30 middle and high schools were recruited across diverse regions in Nebraska. Results: Eight themes arose from the thematic analysis in 3 topic areas. School personnel attributed student vaping to easy access, low perception of harm, addiction, and proliferation of stealthy products for concealed use. Whereas schools showed strong support for addressing youth vaping on school grounds, few schools had adopted a comprehensive e-cigarette prevention and cessation program. The top challenges to current school-based vaping prevention programs include lack of time, knowledge, and coordinated efforts. Participants also recognized the significance of parental engagement in the prevention effort. Conclusions: There is a considerable variation in school policies and actions to address youth vaping. An evidence-based youth vaping program that involves schools, parents, students, and communities needs to be developed and disseminated in school settings.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2021

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